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But, even more important, the quirk of scheduling, as well as the anthropological linkage to another winter-solstice festival of lights, made for the gift-giving frenzy we see today.As a delightful holiday of dedication, Hanukkah has long been child-centered.Is it too much to ask that as we teach our children the joy of receiving gifts from loved ones we also teach them the joy of giving gifts to strangers?
Yes, Islamic extremists declare war on the West, yet many Westerners, deny and dither, afraid to respond too assertively.
The central themes we associate with Hanukkah, of heroism and power, both physical and spiritual, were Zionist ideas; for centuries the Rabbis dwelled on the miracle of the oil.
When the Zionist revolution a century ago reevaluated Judaism, the Maccabees’ story proved that Jewish history was not just about the anti-Semites who hated us and the Rabbis who taught us.
And yes, Palestinian rejectionists get a free pass in the world court of public opinion while Israel is condemned for engaging in self-defense.
Still, today, the markets have recovered and what was supposed to be the “worst economic crisis since the Great Depression” may turn out to be simply part of the historical, boom and bust cycle of capitalism.More important, Israel ’s counter-offensive in Gaza worked.